Open source for universities

I had to figure out a complex software solution for a colleague and had to download the software myself. However, I had to jump through loops- first to download the VPN software from a big name technology component and then subsequently connect through the “firewall” and then to their software download page, which was geographically restricted for the IP addresses.

That’s fine because the VPN software offered no “real security” though I think IKE software protocol which has tons of security vulnerabilities. That the University hosts the software on its website for the “students and staff”, it was a no brainer that it would be a magnet for the “hackers”.

Besides, it took me ages to navigate through the uninspiring menu with a drab interface and it would immediately give “goose bumps” to the most hardened students trying to compress time and effort.

I understand that the software solutions “recommended” by the Universities are required for the coursework. They subsidise the software only in the name. It is an effective method to “lock in the users”. There any plenty of open source software (free) the students could use.

Besides tuition fees and then the additional costs of “books” and “course material” there is a lot of price to be paid for a “certification” that may have a value in the job market. Real-world scenarios differ completely from projected.

Universities must make the shift to the open source and save money on the complicated IT infrastructure and tying themselves in the knots for software litigation and tie in. It would save money that could go for the real purpose- faculty, students and effective research. It does not warrant a wasteful enterprise.